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Showing posts from July, 2011

A Distorted World

I recently purchased a new lens for my camera.   It is called a “Lensbaby Composer”.  Why I needed a new way of looking at my already distorted world I do not know but I find I am a bit of a gadget geek.   Love new and shiny things….all within reason of course.   The Lensbaby Composer is a prime SLR lens that you use to get creative shots with.  It is totally manual and can be complicated to learn.   I bought the extra attachments to make the lens useful for macro and wide angle shots.   It has been a huge learning curve for me but I am enjoying the process.  I have had experienced help getting started as the kit comes with a series of discs that are your fstops.   Every disc has a different size hole in it and makes the outcome of the photograph different.   Anyway here are a few of my first efforts on plants in the Sandbox.  
I will be joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.   Hope to see you there.   Valerie

ps.    I have decided for the month of August I would join Susannah Conway's…

Amethyst Sea Holly for Macro Friday

Laura at Blogging from Bolivia hosts Macro Friday.   This week I am showing a photomerged photo of three similar macro photos of the Eryngium ‘amethystinum’ that I have growing in the Sandbox gardens.    I have three varieties of Eryngium, the planum with a small blue steel-blue flowers, the amethystinum and a giganteum that will have  very large silvery-grey flower bracts.   The photo makes my eyes cross.  Does it do it to you too?
This weekend we will have the family over to celebrate my Dad’s 91st birthday.   Hopefully the day is sunny but not too hot.    What are you doing this weekend?It is a long one for those of us in Canada.    Have a great one.   Valerie

Dream for Texture Tuesday

Kim Klassen Cafe Texture Tuesday challenge is DREAM.   I used this photo of a miniature arrangement that was shown at a recent flower show.  I used Kim Klassen’s texture “dream” at a blending mode of multiply and 59% opacity.   I removed the texture on the flowers.   I duplicated the layer and used the blending mode of colour burn at 46% opacity and removed the texture from the flowers.  I used an action by Pure Photoshop Actions called Pure Pink Lemonade. The text is  a font called Angelic War Gratitude. Please join us for Texture Tuesday at Kim Klassen Cafe.   Valerie

Sandbox All Stars

Last year Bella of Bella’s Rose Garden offered anyone that was interested a packet of mauve poppy seeds that she had collected from her garden.  I jumped at the chance of growing some in the Sandbox.  They are just the palest shade of mauve.  So pretty and delicate.   I hope to collect the seed from my own crop and start them in all kinds of places for next year.  I will have a much bigger display.

The Black Eye Susan or Brown Eye Susan or Rudbeckia ‘hirta’ is a native plant that just pops up here and there in the garden.  I love the flower heads and the fact that it stands up to drought and heat just fine.

The red Zinnias are just so colourful in the garden.  They don’t seem to mind all this heat and dryness either. 

My husband and I had a wonderful time at the wedding yesterday.  I wanted so badly to share pictures but I know the Mother of the Groom will want to do that so you get more pictures of my flowers.  There was a lovely downpour as we were sitting down to the wedding di…

A Sunflower for Macro Friday

Under one of the birdfeeders some of the sunflower seeds have sprouted and several have developed into beautiful flowers.   I have been photographing them before the chipmunks or the squirrels pull them down to eat the seeds.

This photo was taken with the EFS 55-250 zoom lens.

Just for fun I put into a vintage snapshot frame.  

I am joining in the fun at Blogging from Bolivia with Laura for Macro Friday.   I am off to a wedding tomorrow that is to be held outdoors.   I am looking forward to it.   The weather people tell us that it will not be as hot as it has been all this week and have said that we may experience some rain.   We could sure use the rain but not for the wedding.   Will see what happens.    I hope you have a wonderful weekend.   Valerie

Shasta Becky for Texture Tuesday

This weeks challenge for Texture Tuesday was a photo using the texture by Kim Klassen called “Aurora”.  The Shasta daisies are still looking good in the garden despite this period of drought and extreme heat.   I will be participating in Kim Klassen Cafe’s Texture Tuesday.  Won’t you join us.    Valerie

Welsh Street Reunion

A while ago a friend of mine whom I have know since we were just little kids sent me an email to tell me that our old street was having a reunion.   I left that street in 1967 when my parents bought a new build in a subdivision north of the city of Peterborough.   For 19 years of my life I lived on Welsh St. and the neighbourhood was full of kids.   We all were friends as we went to the same elementary school just down the street.  We threw snowballs at each other in winter and build igloos from the piles of snow and in the summer we spent all of our days at the end of the street where the Peterborough canal ran along.  My Dad would take my brother and I after work down to the canal as wee ones and that is where we learned to swim like fishes.   There was a family that owned a property that backed onto a bay in the canal and we always called it Toby’s bay.   Money was collected from the neighbours each year to purchase sand for the beach and the water’s edge and the family then maint…

Hot Days in the Sandbox

It has been hot and dry the last couple of weeks in the Sandbox.  The grass is already turning brown and crispy.  It was only a few weeks ago that we were exclaiming that the lawn looked pretty good because of all the rain.   How quickly things change when you garden on sandy soil.
I thought showing you what is in bloom at the moment would be easier in collages.   The first one is Daylily ‘Many Happy Returns”, a lovely peach one that I bought at a garden sale with no name, Daylily, ‘Stella D’Oro’, Echinacea ‘Mango Meadowbright’ and the hardy cactus.

Hot colours just seem to suit the atmosphere in a hot garden in full sun.    They just seem to scream “Here I am”.
In the top left is Helenium ‘Sahin’s Early’, Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya”, Gaillardia, Coreopsis, and Yarrow ‘Moonbeam’.

I love Daisies and I grow a few varieties of them.    The first in this mosaic is a pink painted daisy with friend, a new variety of Daisy by the name of ‘Banana Cream’ which I have observed blooms a lovely s…

It’s Pink for Texture Tuesday

Kim’s challenge for Texture Tuesday was pink.   I planted a climber this year called America that is a lovely soft pink.   For this challenge I  used Kim’s dusty rose texture at a blend mode of soft light 100% opacity and then duplicated it with a blending mode of multiply at 20% opacity.   I removed the texture from the blossom.   I then added another of Kim’s textures called aurora at a blending mode of softlight.   I made an hue/saturation adjustment layer and desaturated the photo at –23.   I loved the soft look of it.    I might actually be getting the hang of this texturing.    I will be joining Kim Klassen Cafe for Texture Tuesday.    Hope you are having a wonderful week.   Valerie

Hike with Photographer

On Saturday my husband and I went on a hike in the York Region Forest.   Several times throughout the summer there are guided hikes through various parts of the York Region Forest and they are themed for families with different interests.   It could be finding frogs in the pond or bird watching or identifying native plants.   The hike we participated in was at the Hollidge Tract and was geared to taking photos of the forest with nature photographer and naturalist Gary Conway.   A large group congregated around Gary and members of the Regional Forest management team to get started on a two hour hike with lots of opportunities to stop and take pictures.   Gary pointed out areas of interest and various aspects of getting a good picture in low light and sunny.  The idea was to be aware of what is around you and of course don’t stand in the poison ivy.  The first photo is the group going down the trail.  Next is the pond which was pretty much drying up at this point in the summer.  In the …

Achillea Moonshine for Macro Friday

The Achillea or Yarrow ‘Moonshine’ is blooming out by the pond.   This plant is a truly drought tolerant plant.   It blooms for a long time and has wonderful structure and form.   I love the flat heads for photography and the colour of schoolbus yellow is a favourite in hot places. I am joining Laura at Blogging from Bolivia for Macro Friday.   Have a great weekend.    Valerie

Three for Texture Tuesday

This weeks challenge on Kim Klassen Cafe Texture Tuesday is three.   Right now the strawberries are ready to be picked. I bought a flat the other day to eat some and freeze some.  They are so sweet, juicy and delicious.   I used three for my texture today.   I used KK’s texture Raggedy Paper 1 and removed some of the texture from the berries.  
Have a great day.   Valerie

Poppies for Mosaic Monday

The poppies are blooming in profusion in one of the beds of the Sandbox.   In the early morning you can find me out there in my housecoat with the camera trying to capture them before the breeze comes up and blows them here and there.   It must have been a mixed packet of seed that I strew in the flowerbed because the blooms are either a deep red, a peachy pink with a white fringe or a orange red.  We had a rain storm last night and this morning they were covered with rain drops.   I have also discovered in learning photoshop elements that there are loads of brushes to download and use in your photos.   I am fascinated with them.   These brushes are frames that came from Deviant Art.   I am joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.   Hope you had a wonderful long weekend.  The weather was perfect here for outside activities or just a long afternoon nap on a chaize lounge in the shade.   As always your comments are so appreciated.  Valerie